- Methamphetamine and Amphetamine: An Overview
- Medical Uses of these Drugs
- Recreational Use of these Drugs
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Amphetamine and methamphetamine: they certainly have similar names. But just how similar are these two substances? What are the differences between them?
Truth is, there aren’t a lot of differences. In terms of chemistry, the two drugs are almost exactly the same. In terms of legality, both are controlled substances. Both of these are abused by recreational drug users. And unfortunately, both drugs are very addictive.
Amphetamine and methamphetamine abuse can have serious consequences. But you can probably guess which one is worse than the other. Let’s have a closer look.
Methamphetamine and Amphetamine: An Overview
Methamphetamine, often called meth or crystal meth, is just like amphetamine because they are in a class of related drugs. Both of these substances are called stimulants. This means they can cause your blood pressure to increase when taken. They can also increase your heart rate.
Just like other stimulants, they speed up the body’s metabolism while also raising body temperature. When you take meth or amphetamines, you get a surge of energy and a feeling of euphoria. They give an increased ability to focus. Meth users often desire to be active and productive.
This feel-good sensation is also what makes these drugs very addictive. A person will take meth to feel good, and immediately they are hooked. They will want to keep taking the drug. They’ll do it for fun.
Soon enough, they develop tolerance and they start wanting more. They need to take larger doses just to get the same euphoric effects.
In terms of chemical structure, meth and amphetamines are very similar. They are structured similarly. But the main difference is that meth’s structure allows it to enter the brain more quickly than any amphetamine.
This means when you take meth, the rush will kick in quickly and you will feel the impact more intensely. Meth is slightly more susceptible to abuse. It is more addictive and more dangerous.
Medical Uses of these Drugs
There’s a reason why meth and amphetamines are Schedule II controlled substances, as categorized by the Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA. Schedule II means these substances have accepted medical uses. These drugs can be prescribed. But it also means they are highly addictive.
So while they can be prescribed, not all doctors will. Amphetamines as prescription medication are actually very common. They can be used to treat kids with ADHD. But while meth can also be used for ADHD, it is much less common. Meth can also be used to treat obesity.
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Recreational Use of these Drugs
Abusing either drug is harmful and risky. Eventually, a person can develop physical dependence. This means that the body can no longer function properly without taking the substance. So as euphoric as these drugs can make you, it is not worth it in the long run.
Side effects are similar and include increased heart rate and blood pressure. It causes loss of appetite and excessive sweating. Meth can also cause headaches, teeth grinding, seizures, tremors, dizziness, and constipation. This is not a complete list of side effects.
But side effects become more severe the longer they abuse the drug.
Both drugs may require addiction treatment if a person gets hooked on them, but proper medical detox and behavioral therapy can help them get sober again. Look for an addiction treatment facility near you!